Tag Archives: Jerry Jones

From Pretender to Contender, and Vice Versa

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Could Robert Griffin III (pictured above) help transform the Redskins from a pretender into a contender? Our very own Jeremy Powers thinks so.

By Jeremy Powers

The football season is upon us. Put a smile on your face.

Tonight, the Giants travel to the Jerry Jones Dome to revive the rivalry that received plenty of media attention as is typically the case this offseason.

I can’t wait to see which teams will take a step back and which teams will rise from the ruins and contend for a playoff birth. Let’s look at a recent example, shall we.

Last season, Tampa Bay stepped back from a ten-win season in 2010 to a 4-12 record and a last place finish in the NFC South. Ouch, talk about the opposite side of the spectrum. The Bucs were a pretender last season.

Cincinnati, who won four games in 2010—reached the playoffs with rookies leading the way on offense. Andy Dalton and A.J. Green made a formidable duo and the Bengals defense was stout all season long leading the team to a 9-7 record. The Bengals were a contender last season.

This season I expect some of the same parity that we see every season in the NFL. I see a few teams emerging as playoff contenders and some teams falling straight into the depths of their respective divisions.

Contender:

The Washington Redskins were 5-11 last season. Drafting Robert Griffin III is a huge upgrade at quarterback over Rex Grossman and John Beck that will result in two more wins minimum. Not to mention the addition of Pierre Garcon as a big-play threat. Washington’s defense is quite impressive on paper as well. Playing in a 3-4 base defense, the Redskins linebackers will lead them as veteran London Fletcher powers a group that also starts second-year guy Ryan Kerrigan, and All-Pro Brian Orakpo. I think the Redskins get to 8-8 this season, which puts them in the hunt for a wild card spot. Continue reading

College Football Week 1: The fun has begun

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joe Southwick (pictured above) will be the Boise State starting quarterback tomorrow night as the post-Kellen Moore era begins.

By Josh Kramer

Lights.  Camera. Action.  After a 234 day hiatus, the 2012 college football season kicks off tonight.  We are coming to the end of the BCS era as the first college football playoff creeps closer. Week 1 generates a major buzz every year, despite featuring very few “buzz-worthy” matchups.

Here are the marquee matchups:

Boise State at Michigan State: Spartans by 7

Headline:  The post-Kellen Moore era begins poorly with a Spartan smackdown.

The date was December 23, 2007.  Taylor Tharp was the quarterback for Boise State as they took on East Carolina in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl.  Current Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson was the star player for the Pirates, leading them to a 41 to 38 upset victory over Boise State.  This night in Hawaii over four years ago happens to be the last game that Kellen Moore was not under center for the Boise State Broncos.  Tomorrow night, the Joe Southwick era officially takes flight,  as Southwick takes over the quarterback reigns for the great Kellen Moore. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 8-29-2011

Photo courtesy of deadspin.com. The best rivalry in baseball continues on at Fenway on Tuesday night.

By Josh Kramer

Hurricane Irene has finally decided to leave the East Coast alone.  And sure there are damages and repercussions that will ensue for a while, but the sporting world continues to trek on.  Sports can act as a release for many of the people suffering ill effects in the wake of the vicious storm hopefully. Here are the main events for the week ahead.

5.  NFL Preseason football enters the fourth and final week.  Opening night is just around the corner, and the real “dress rehearsal” just occurred this past weekend.  But still, many guys are fighting for one of those 53 roster spots and will lay it all on the line for the preseason finale. Continue reading

Food for Thought 6-14-2011

Photo courtesy of marketfolly.com.

By Josh Kramer

It has been another wild past couple of days.  So many major headlines.  So much exciting action.  Here are the items that have caught my attention.

Mr. Dallas

I am still utterly shocked by the results of Sunday night’s game 6 of the NBA Finals.  The MonStars were defeated handily by the Mavericks.  How often outside of the movies do the good guys actually get the best of the bad guys?  I am by no means a Mavericks fan.  But as I have said many times before, there are sports fans, and then there are fans of the Miami Heat.  Therefore, I was happy with the outcome. Continue reading

“Weekly Nickel”

Thus far this season, Cowboy's Owner, Jerry Jones (pictured above), has not done much smiling or clapping. Is a fire sale on the way out of the Big D?

The “Weekly Nickel” is back and ready to provide you with the top 5 happenings in sports for the upcoming week.  What a week last week was. And what a week this promises to be.

5.  A fire sale in Dallas?  Keep a keen eye on “America’s Team” after a humiliating 45 to 7 loss at the hands of Green Bay in the Sunday Night game.  The heavy favorites in the NFC East now sit at 1 and 7.  The actions of Jerry Jones should provide for much entertainment.  Also keep an eye on Minnesota to see what happens to Brad Childress.  These should both be fun storylines to follow.

4.  The World Series is over.  And you know what that means.  Free Agency has begun! Some of the big names out there are Cliff Lee, Carl Crawford, Adrian Beltre, and Jayson Werth.  Also there is a guy they call “The Captain,” Derek Jeter, that is on the open market.  Will Jeter remain in Pinstripes?  All eyes are always on the Yankees during free agency and rightfully so.  Make your move.

3.  The NBA treks on highlighted by 3 major matchups this week.  Tonight, the two leaders in the Southeast Division square off in Orlando for divisional supremacy.  Can the Hawks remain atop the Southeast over the Magic?  Then fast forward to Thursday.  The two favorites in the East, the Celtics and Heat square off for Round 2 in Miami.  Can the Heat redeem themselves after an embarrassing loss in the opener?  Then finally on Friday, arguably the two most exciting young teams in the League do battle in Oklahoma City.  The Trailblazers take on the Thunder in a matchup that nobody will want to miss.  I love this game.

2.  Gridiron play continues at the Collegiate Level. Though there are not too many marquee matchups between ranked foes in the Week 11 College Football stratosphere, this is the time of year where there are upsets galore.  So pay close attention and expect ranked teams to go down. 

1. The NFL is entering Week 10.  There are two big time matchups in my eyes.  The week starts with a bang with the first Thursday night game of the year in Atlanta.  AFC North leading Baltimore heads down to Georgia to take on the NFC South leading Falcons.  These are arguably the two best teams in their respective conferences.  Super Bowl preview?  It’s a possibility.  The other major matchup occurs in the Monday Night Game.  In an NFC East rumble, the Eagles fly to the Nation’s Capital to take on their old savior Donovan Mcnabb.  Can Vick provide more fireworks?

So there you have it.  What a week we have in store.  Great football, great basketball, and of course the business of baseball unfolding before our very eyes.  It does not get any better.

Let me hear your thoughts.  What is your version of the “Weekly Nickel” or do you agree with mine?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“NFL Week 3 Predictions”

In possibly the best matchup of Week 3, can Matt Ryan (pictured above), lead the Falcons to a big time win over the defending champs?

So with two weeks completed in this young NFL season, the excitement is still there.  The parity is still there.  Two heavy NFC favorites are 0 and 2 (Vikings and Cowboys).  There are two NFC surprise teams that stand at 2 and 0 (Bears and Buccaneers).  And Miami, Houston, and Kansas City are all leading their respective divisions in the AFC.  You got to love it.

Also, in the pick’em challenge, the scoreboard reads as follows:

TheSportsKraze: Week 1/2-20                                                   CV3:  Week 1/2-19

TheSportsKraze Picks:

Titans at Giants:  This is one of those toss-up type of games.  And though Chris Johnson may be the most dangerous offensive weapon in the League, the Titans showed kryptonite against the Steelers last week and I expect the same on Sunday.  Eli and the Giants at home will be looking to redeem themselves after an embarrassing Sunday night loss in the “Battle of the Brothers.”  Both of these teams have strong rushing attacks and defend well against the pass.  Look for a low scoring and tight affair, but expect the G Men to come out on the victorious end by 3 utilizing home field advantage.

Steelers at Buccaneers:  Though this hurts me to say, I am going to have to take the Steelers on the road in this one.  Tampa has been a very pleasant surprise leaping out to a 2 and 0 start, but the Steelers are no fluke.  Their defense, led by Troy Polamalu is the real deal.  Also, they will be utilizing the ultimate “Journeyman,” Charlie Batch as their starting quarterback.  So even though the Steelers sport the 31st ranked offense in the League, their outstanding defense will continue to take care of business in this one.  Steeler nation is enjoying every win they can get before the return of Big Ben.  Look for the Steelers to win an ugly one by 6.

Bengals at Panthers:  Welcome to the NFL Jimmy Clausen.  In your first start, you get to match up against a Bengal’s defense that looked flat-out awesome last week against Baltimore.  The great mind of the Bengal’s D-Coordinator vs the Panther’s rookie QB Jimmy Clausen?  I got Zimmer every time.  Carolina has sported an anemic offensive attack thus far this season.  Look for Carson Palmer to start to redeem  himself with a major day through the air, featuring big games for TO, Ocho, and Shipley.  I got the Bengals running away with this one on the road by 9.

Browns at Ravens:  This game may be a great rivalry.  For obvious reasons.  But this Ravens team is very hungry after a heartbreaking loss in Cincinnati last weekend.  Look for Ray Lewis and the boys to lay some bone shattering hits.  And probably even provide some points for the struggling offensive attack.  This may be a game where the Ravens bring in Marc Bulger for a series or two sporting a big lead?  The only way the Browns hang around in this one is through a special teams TD by none other than Joshua Cribbs.  Do not count on the offense mustering more than a TD though.  I got the Edgar Allen Poe’s by 10 at home.

Cowboys at Texans:  This is one of the most intriguing matchups of the week for obvious reasons.  Two teams heading in very different directions.  A Cowboy’s team, that has disappointed the entire country, and a Texan’s team, that is 2 and 0, having defeated two tough opponents.  My head has been saying go with the Texans all week, especially at home.  But in the “Battle of Texas,” I got the Cowboys to reestablish their rushing attack behind a motivated offensive line, on their way to a gutsy 1 point victory over their in-state rival.  Jerry Jones will be a happy man (or as happy as Jerry can be with a 1 and 2 start).

49ers at Chiefs:  Another very tough matchup to call here.  The Chiefs have been a pleasant surprise thus far, while the 49ers are another one of those surprising 0 and 2 teams.  Mike Singletary had his team on the cusp of beating the defending champs on Monday Night Football.  Now his team is back in action, heading to a very tough environment in Kansas City.  Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones have been a 2 headed monster for KC on the ground, but I do not think it will be enough on this day.  Plus Patrick Willis and the 49ers D have done a great job against the run this year.  Alex Smith, the young San Francisco QB, is beginning to show glimmers of a big time leader following his great drive late in the 4th on Monday.  Expect the 49ers to cut down on their mistakes, and nab a big road win by 1.

Lions at Vikings:  Hail Vikings?  Without a victory in this one at home, it may be all over for the Favres.  The Lions have played very well, losing two games in heartbreaking fashion.  They have definitely stepped up their game and are extremely competitive, but it won’t be enough in this one.  Look for AP to run “All Day,” just like his nickname says, and expect Favre to cut down on the INTs.  Minnesota has done well from a statistical standpoint other than in the turnover department.  The Lions on the other hand, have not been the best team statistically, but their aerial attack has been very solid.  Many had the Vikings as a Super Bowl favorite.  Well their trek begins Sunday as they move to 1 and 2 with a 9 point victory over Detriot.

Bills at Patriots:  Da Bills, will get killed.  The Patriots are coming off an embarrassing defeat at the hands of AFC East Rival, New York (Jets). Belichick , Brady, and Moss all hate to lose.  They showed how dangerous they can be in a major Week 1 romp of Cincinnati.  The Bills are one of the worst teams in football up to this point.  Though the Patriots only major strength thus far has been their passing attack, it will be enough to carry them to an easy home victory over Buffalo.  Look for the Patriots to lay an old-fashioned whooping by 14.

Falcons at Saints:  This is a big time showdown in the NFC South.  Brees showed his grit on Monday Night leading a major drive in the final minute of play.  Atlanta also flapped their wings last Sunday with an offensive outburst against the Cardinals.  Can the Saints hold Atlanta’s outstanding rushing attack in check?  Can the Saints fill the void left by a Reggie Bushless offense?  These will be the determining factors in this one.  And I am going with the Saints by 3 at home in possibly the best game of the Week.

Redskins at Rams:  Sorry St. Louis.  Things are going to continue to get worse.  After a heartbreaking loss against the Texans last week, the Redskins look to recover in a big way under the Arch of St. Louis.  This is just the medicine any team needs after suffering a tough defeat.  Go play the Rams.  Though the Redskins have had little to no ground attack all year and have struggled defending the pass, it won’t matter in this one, as they take on one of the worst in the NFL.  Expect the Redskins to take care of business by 7 on the road.

Eagles at Jaguars:  Michael Vicks heads to Jacksonville as the starter?  Is it 2006 again?  After Andy Reid named Michael Vick the starter earlier this week, the whole city of Brotherly Love breathed a sigh of relief.  The Human Highlight Reel will take the show to alligator central this weekend.  The Jaguars have looked okay in their first two games, but they will have no answer for the best athlete in football on this day.  Look for Michael Vick to “juke” his way to a tough 3 point victory on the road.

Raiders at Cardinals:  The bad and the ugly right here folks.  Two teams that stand at 1 and 1, but are probably in the lower tier of the League in all honesty.  The Cardinals demonstrated how bad their defense can be in giving up 41 points last week.  While the Raiders continue to struggle passing the ball, and will start Bruce Gradkowski in this one.  This is not really a game that I want to tune in to watch.  A lot of this matchup will hinge on how the Cardinals can handle the Raider’s rushing tandem in Bush and McFadden, and how the Raider’s can handle the Cardinal’s receiving duo of Fitzgerald and Breaston.  But I got the Cardinal’s receivers putting up some numbers and rolling to an ugly 6 point victory at home.

Chargers at Seahawks:  The Seahawks have shown glimpses of a quality team.  But the Chargers have been tough for some years now and looked like they woke up from the off-season last week.  Phillip Rivers will have a field day against a weak Seattle secondary on his way to a 14 point win.  There will be rain in Seattle this weekend.

Colts at Broncos:  The Peyton show heads to Mile High.  Just look for more of what you saw last Sunday.  The Colts have a great offense.  And the secondary has done a great job defending against the pass.  Unfortunately for Denver, they do not have their typical tough rushing attack to expose the Colt’s weakness of defending against the run.  Look for Peyton to shred the Broncos all day on the way to a 13 point victory.

Jets at Dolphins:  This is a big time matchup early in the season.  Though the Dolphins sit atop the division, the Jets are still the favorite in my eyes, and most of America.  Can New York produce a 2nd straight big time AFC East Victory?  You better believe it as Sanchez continues to get more and more comfortable in the pocket.  The GQ Star looked great last week, and should continue his solid play against a tough Miami defense.  I got the Jets gutting out a tough 1 point victory on the road.

Packers at Bears:  The Monday Night Games have been as good as ever this season.  I do not see that trend stopping this week either, as two bitter rivals take the prime time stage.  But I will say that Aaron Rodgers will get a chance to show the country why is an elite quarterback against a Bear’s secondary that has struggled.  Two teams looking to take hold of the NFC North early on.  It should be fun.  But look for the Cheeseheads to take care of business by 6 on the road.

CV3 Picks:

49ers over Chiefs by 9- The San Fran D should dominate the Chief’s offense while Frank Gore tears apart the Chief’s linebacking core. Mike Singletary has his team under going in the right direction.

Vikings over Lions by 14- C’mon Vikings… A disappointing start to a season that might end with a wild card bid. I can’t see them going to 0-3, especially against the lions. It’s likely that Brett will get into a groove now that he has a couple games under his belt for the season (since he strategically missed most of the preseason, again).

Patriots over Bills by…. who knows, but it will be a lot- The Pats can’t be satisfied with their play against the Jets. Sorry Bills, but you have to face them on their bounce-back week. Brady will put up huge numbers in this one.

Ravens over Browns by 8- Cribbs will score a long touchdown, but that’s it. Baltimore’s D is still elite and it doesn’t matter that their offense sucks because the Browns suck. With anger brewing due to some questionable calls from last week, look for the Ravens to hit hard in this one and probably score on D.

Texans over Boys by 3- In the Battle of Texas, I take the Texans. They are high powered on offense and have shown they can beat a team on the ground and in the air. That powerful offense is backed by a solid D that should extend the Boys downward spiral for another week. Sorry Jerry but you need an O-line. Maybe you can buy it??

Eagles over Jags by 10- Luckily for Eagles fans their coach watched the game tape. I’m a Vick fan too (on the football field). I feel like going back to Madden ’04 and running from sideline to sideline making a fool of defenders. The Eagles have a lot of weapons and Vick will continue to impress as a starter.

Colts over Broncos by 5 1/2- Two offenses that rely on the pass. The Colts D is back on track but this one still should be a shootout. You have to believe that Peyton reigns supreme over Orton in this one though.

Raiders over Cardinals by 3- Go MAC quarterbacks! Bruce will hand the ball off and make a few good passes to Zach Miller in this Raiders win. Hopefully Michael Bush will get involved in the action as well. He is a fun player to watch and the Raiders may start to show that they have a great tandem in McFadden and Bush. Plus, the Cardinals one hope for this season is busy putting his moves down on the dance floor.

Chargers over Seahawks by 10- I thought the Chargers were going to have some management troubles that would trickle down to the field and effect their play, I was wrong. I still don’t like A.J. Smith, especially for what he did to Marty but it looks like Norv has them focused on the opponent rather than their internal struggles. They should roll in this one.

Giants over Titans by 1- This should be a tight one with two similar teams with good running games and a good pass defense. I give this one to the G-Men only because they are playing at home. 

Steelers over Buccaneers by 4- Unfortunately, for Steelers haters, the Curtain is back. As long as Troy stays healthy they could run Akili Smith out there at quarterback and it wouldn’t matter. They are going to win in ugly fashion with defense doing most of the work. Good luck trying to score more than one touchdown Bucs.

Skins over Rams by 6- Again, Bradford will keep this one close with a decent performance but the Skins D is better than the Ram’s.

Jets over the Fins in this one by 3- Both teams are playing stellar D but the Jets have a lot of confidence after beating their conference foes. If the coaches don’t limit Sanchize then the Jets should fly high to their second victory.

Saints over Falcons by 7- I’m picking the defending champs every week until they lose! No Reggie, no problem, maybe… this one could be close with Matty Ice leading his squad.

Bears over Packers by 3- Why will the Pack be upset? Because its Monday night! Hopefully this adds to the thrilling Monday night games we have seen so far. Two top passers with two solid defenses. Something has got to give in this one the defenses or the offenses, I’m betting its the D. In shootout fashion this high scoring game will end with a game winning field goal.

Bengals over Panthers by 10- C’mon Zimmer, destroy Jimmy Clausen!! Get to the quarterback! Even if the Bengals lack pressure on the QB they will win with solid D and a better offense. Brat better come out with a plan to spread the field otherwise a tough Carolina run D will delay the start of the Palmer show. Who Dey? Not the Panthers!

It should be a great Week 3.  Feel free to see how your picks stack up against mine and CV3’s in the comments.

Get ready for some football folks.

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze

“Does 0 and 2 Spell Death?”

Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings are in desperate need of star receiver, Sidney Rice (pictured above).

The NFL is already off to an extremely exciting start.  And fans should be prepping for a year that appears to really be wide open (as usual).  And who would want it any other way? There are many major storylines already in my eyes, but one has really stood out to me.

Storyline :  Two Super Bowl favorites, the Dallas Cowboys and Minnesota Vikings are 0 and 2.  Who would have thought this would be the case?  Both of theses teams were extremely common picks to not only win their respective divisions, but to win the entire NFC.  Which one of them in worse shape?  Do either still have a chance to make the playoffs?

Dallas Cowboys

Situation:

The Cowboys have lost to 2 teams that most did not have making any noise this season.  The Redskins and Bears are not exactly thought of as powerhouse teams (though the Bears sit at 2 and 0).  This Dallas team is as talented as ever.  This team is experienced.  Supposed to be solid on both sides of the ball.  Jerry Jones is not a happy man.  Dallas is 4th in yards in yards gained this year, and 11th in total D.  So they are doing okay both offensively and defensively.  So what is the problem?

Problem:

Well for one, they are not scoring enough points.  In their first two ball games, they have given up 40 total points while they have only scored 27.  This all stems from a continued Red Zone conversion problem in Dallas.  Experts talked about this problem all season last year, especially down the stretch.  And the preseason, nor these first two weeks have looked to ease any of these worries.  In addition, could the pressure be getting to guys like Romo?  The core of this team has been winning for a good few years now.  But they have not gotten over the hump like Emmit Smith and Troy Aikman were able to do in the mid 90s.  Romo has never been known as Mr. Clutch.  And yesterday, he demonstrated his lack of big game ability with 2 crucial INTs.  The other major problem for the Boys, a non-existent rushing attack.  This team ran for 36 yards yesterday.  I know the game is turning into a pass first style, but 36 rushing yards is unacceptable if you are expecting to win a game in the NFL.  Not to mention they only ran for 89 yards in Week 1 (they are 27th in the League in rushing yards).

Solution:

The Cowboys must learn how to convert consistently in the Red Zone with touchdowns.  They must also develop a reliable rushing attack.  If they can do these two things, they will definitely be able to still make a run at the playoffs.

Verdict:

The Cowboys have a very tough first place schedule.  A turnaround will not be easy.  Plus they head to Houston against a very tough Texans team next week.  Though it is possible, do not expect this team to be playing a “Home” Game in this year’s Super Bowl.  I would not count on them even making the playoffs either.  Too many egos.  Too many internal issues.  Expect the Cowboys to finish 8 and 8 or 9 and 7, just missing the playoffs.

Minnesota Vikings:

Situation:

The Vikings are currently sitting at 0 and 2, even with their “savior” Brett Favre.  At least they get to take the Lions on at home next week to put a mark in the win column right?

Problem:

This team has no offense so far.  Other than in the rushing category, this team is in the lower half of the League in every offensive statistical category, including 29th in points.  For all the talk of Brett Favre being possibly the “Greatest Quarterback of All Time,” he has looked extremely human through 2 games.  Now I realize this team has some major injuries hurting their receiving corps.  But the way the unit has played, has been unacceptable.  They have mustered up 19 total points against two teams, that do not feature great defenses (Saints and Dolphins).  The major problem for this squad has not been the defense.  In actuality, their defense ranks 8th overall in the League.  And it hasn’t been the rushing attack.  It’s been # 4’s gunslinger mentality.  Brett’s interceptions are a huge reason why this very talented team is sitting at 0 and 2.

Solution:

Run the ball more.  Continue to give Adrian 25 plus carries a game.  Until star receiver Sidney Rice returns, this team will have to live and die on the run.  Brett’s confidence is a bit down.  And if the team can put together a couple of wins, he will get his swagger back.  But the defense overall has been fine.  Adrian Peterson has been awesome.  But Favre must cut down on the turnovers.  Possibly give the man a simpler game plan if possible (just don’t let him know you are babying him).  Give him a lot of plays where he gets to utilize his tight ends.  The problem is, you do not want to mess Brett Favre’s ego.  So it is definitely a touchy area and easier said than done to fix this problem.

Verdict:

I feel this team is perfectly fine.  I still fully expect them to nab at least a Wild Card.  Though they have to play a first place schedule, just like Dallas, I feel like their division is not as deep.  Therefore they will have a few more games that are very winnable, and this will be the difference.  I also hate to say it, but I don’t see Brett missing the playoffs in his “final” season.

So neither of these teams are down and out yet.  I believe both of them will finish at least 8 and 8 due to the fact that they are far too talented not to win as many games as they lose.  But I will admit that I feel Dallas is in big trouble in their pursuance of a playoff spot.

So what are your thoughts?

Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.

-TheSportsKraze